We bought Chloe a potty seat over the weekend. The guidebooks all say she's too young, that kids normally aren't ready until 18 months at least, but she's shown great interest lately when we use the toilet and has started patting her diaper to indicate she needs a change. And apparently my brother and I were toilet trained well before 18 months. And wouldn't it be awesome if we didn't have to have two kids in diapers after all?
So we bought it, figuring we'd start slow, get her used to having it around, that kind of thing. She was interested in it right away: opening and closing the lid and the compartment for flushable wipes (did you know there were flushable wipes? I didn't), playing with the little plastic pee-screen for boys, pulling the seat and the waste receptable out of the base. It's a three-stage model: first a complete potty seat for first learning, then a stepstool plus seat-that-fits-over-a-real-toilet-seat for learning not to fear the toilet, and then just the stepstool. Lots of moving parts, so lots of fun for a one-year-old. I had to tell her the seat itself was not a chew toy.
She wanted help sitting down the first few times, but once she sat she was content to stay, reading books or having her toes counted. We need to get her a tiny chair. I wasn't planning on even trying to have her sit without her clothes, just get her used to the sitting. But yesterday, she came to Eric and pointed at her diaper, and then at the potty. He figured, "Why not?" and removed her diaper and helped her sit down. And she used the potty! Only a little, because some had already gone into the diaper, but enough.
Eric heaped praise on her (once he got over his surprise), and we're wondering if we should be offering some kind of reward. The problem is, she's too young for stickers or similar, and toys or books would get too expensive, and food isn't a good idea. She's sat a couple of other times and hasn't produced anything, which is fine, so maybe it won't be much of an issue for a while. (It also helps--or hurts?--that she can't say "potty" yet, so it's a judgment call on what she means when she pats her diaper. She's working on "apple," though. Still no "mama"--the closest she gets is "danma.") Still. My baby girl is starting to learn to use a potty!